The BMA is calling on UNISON and other health unions to show support for the junior doctors' strikes this week.

This week is a crucial week for the junior doctors' dispute as they escalate their action and withdraw emergency cover.  Consultants and senior registrars across the UK have issued strong messages of support to the striking doctors and reassurances that they will be covering emergency work by cancelling routine work to ensure the strike can go ahead safely.  

Anyone who works in the NHS knows it is in trouble.  A victory for the junior doctors is a victory for everyone who wants to stop the Tories mounting firther attacks on staff and services and driving through more privatisation.  Support the junior doctors pickets from 8am - 12 noon on 26th and 27th April:  JRII (Headley Way); Churchill (Old Rd); Horton General (Hightown Rd); NOC (windmill Rd); Warneford hospital (Roosevelt Drive).

Junior doctors will be marching in London from 5 pm on Tuesday 26th.  Assemble St Thomas' hospital, Westminster Bridge Rd.  Teachers in the NUT will be joining the march, as they enter into battle against plans to turn all UK schools onto academies.  The prospect of joint action between doctors and teachers is a real possibility which could see the Tories attacks on health and education defeated.

Oxfordshire junior doctors and supporters will be rallying on Saturday in Witney from 12 noon. Assemble Witney Masonic Hall, 20 Church Green at 12 noon 30th April for speakers before going into town to campaign amongst the public.

The folllowing motion was carried unanimously at this year's AGM.

From September 2017 this Government proposes the removal of Bursaries and maintenance grants for all staff undergoing training to work within the NHS; mainly affecting Nursing and Midwifery students and other allied healthcare professions (AHPs), such as Speech Therapists, Physios and Occupational Therapists, undertaking Degree courses. Replacing these with Annual course fees of £9,000 per year, and maintenance loans. Both of which will need to be paid back. The Government states it is doing this to allow Universities to offer more places, and train 10,000 more nurses than they do currently.

These Degrees are vocational in nature, requiring the students to take up placements in clinical areas; working alongside qualified healthcare professionals, providing patient care. Unlike other degree courses, this often means their course runs for 48 weeks per annum, as opposed to 30 weeks for most courses. These placements will also require them to work 37.5h per week, often doing 12.5h each shift. Unlike other students, these students are unable to earn money taking up part time jobs whilst at University.

The majority of these students are mature, often having previously done degree courses with subsequent debts, having children, or may be single parents, unlikely to take up degree courses in which they will incur more debt, whilst looking at a starting salary of only £21,692. We believe that removing Bursaries and grants will mean that the NHS will have fewer nurses, midwives and AHPs as a result; leaving the NHS in more of a staffing crisis than it is now.

Current students taking these degree courses, and qualified staff, aware of the impact the proposals to remove Bursaries and maintenance grants, taking action to prevent this.

I propose that this Branch:

  • initiates campaign actions against the removal of bursaries for healthcare students
  • provides experience and manpower available in the branch plus an initial budget of up to £500 for materials to support students opposing the removal of bursaries and prevent the potential harm this will do to the NHS.
  • Calls on the regional and national bodies of Unison to campaign against the removal of bursaries for these students
  • encourages branch members to support protests against the removal of bursaries including the day of action on the 10th February which may coincide with the potential strike by junior doctors.

Proposer - Ian McKendrick; Seconder - Jane Lacey    

HuntpinoccioJunior doctors have suspended their planned strike action for December to allow for talks on a new contract.  The doctors voted 98% for industrial action on a turnout of 76%, and announced 3 days of strikes, including two without emergency cover.  The strikes were called to stop Health Minister Jeremy Hunt imposing cuts in unsocial hours pay and removing safeguards on shift lengths and patterns.  Success for Hunt opens the door to similar attacks across the rest of the NHS workforce.

Not content with holding down wages for nurses, midwives and other NHS professions eligible for NHS bursaries, chancellor George Osborne wants to ensure they start their low paid careers firmly saddled with debt.

Currently students in qualifying NHS professions get a bursary and free tuition to help them complete their studies, but for students starting study in 2017 they will no longer receive any grant and will have to pay full tuition fees of £9000 a year.

Junior doctors hav voted 98% to strike on a 76% turnout.

Oxfordshire Unison Health branch committee has issued the following statement about the junior doctors strike;
"Oxfordshire Health services branch of Unison fully supports junior doctors taking strike action against plans to impose a new contract that will cut unsocial hours pay and enforce loss of incremental pay.

We utterly condemn Jeremy Hunt and his latest attack on the NHS and its staff. We know that if the attack on the junior doctors is sucessful the government will seek to impose similar cuts on other NHS staff. We call on our branch members to support any picket lines and protests by the junion doctors."

You can show your support for the doctors striking by displaying this poster in your worklace too.

Doctors have announced strikes on:

  • Emergency care only — from 8am, Tuesday 1 December to 8am Wednesday 2 December
  • Full walk out — from 8am to 5pm, Tuesday 8 December
  • Full walk out — from 8am to 5pm, Wednesday 16 December

Thanks for booking your seat on the Oxfordshire transport. We will be joining tens of thousands of others opposed to the growing inequality and destruction of public services and much neeeded welfare support  that define Tory party rule.  We will be marching to demand an alternative and to oppose attempts by the government to restrict working peoples' ability to take action against their attacks on our class. 

The surprise landslide election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party reflects the strength of the mood for change.  The march is a great opportunity to build the movement we need to produce this change.  Jeremy Corbyn will be addressing the march and this is expecetd to swell the numbers. 

Departure times from Oxfordshire towns are listed below, plus arrangements to meet the coach for the return journey.  If you no longer require your seat please let us know.  We still have some spare seats so why not ask your work mates, friends and family to join us.

A map of the march route can be donloaded here.  We aim to meet the coach for the return journey at 4.30pm at the coach parking on Great Jessop Street and City Road East (marked on the map - printed copies will be available on the day).

The march route is just under 2 miles.  The weather forecast is dry.  There is provision for people with disabilities to have access to the main rally point and also accessible transport to help people who need it to the assembly point of the short route march - about half a mile long.  If you need asistance to join the accessible transport to the march please let me know.

Departure times:

Witney - opposite library - 7.20 am (Bakers coach)
Didcot - rail station - 7.20 am
(Tappins coach)
Abingdon - bus stop outside hospital 7.40 am
(Tappins coach)
Oxford  - outside Taylorian Institute St Giles - 8 am (Tappins and Bakers coaches)
Headington
- bus stop opposite post office - 8.15 am (Tappins and Bakers coaches)
Thornhill park and ride - bus stop opposite - 8.20 am
(Tappins and Bakers coaches)
Banbury Town Hall - 8.30 am (check with steward re coach company)

Look forward to seeing you all on the day.

Many thanks to Unison Oxfordshire Health branch, Oxford & District Trades Council, Oxford City Unison, Banbury GMB No 1, Ruskin, Brookes and University UCU branches, South Central Postal CWU, Oxfordshire Unite branches, NUT and Oxford Peoples' Assembly for their support that has made this mobilisation from Oxfordshire possible.

Ian


From TUC website

We have worked to make the rally and march as accessible as practically possible. 

The size of the event and potential for larger numbers than anticipated and ongoing transport infrastructure improvements in the city means that there will be limited access to vehicles in most of the city centre. Where there is access, there will be heavy congestion. 

To this end, we have made arrangements for:

  • Those who wish to attend the pre-march rally
  • Those who wish to attend the pre-march rally and then move to the short march access point
  • Those who wish to just join the short march

Obviously those who wish to be a part of the rally and then subsequently complete the whole march are welcome to do so.

Rally on Oxford Road

There will be an accessible viewing area for those who require it, in front of the stage area on Oxford Street. The stage will be positioned next to All Saints Park (see map) and signers will be provided. Accessible toilets are available on Oxford Road (see map for toilets). 

Access to this area can be via Oxford Road - we are asking people accessing the viewing area to use the side streets as there will be no direct access from Manchester City Centre onto Oxford Road. The map shows routes to join. Those requiring vehicle access for drop off to the viewing area can do so via Cavendish Street. We need requests for this in advance, so please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the Subject Line ‘Vehicle Access for Viewing Area’ with your name, contract telephone number and email plus your vehicle details - colour and make, registration number. This is so we can ensure the correct vehicles are permitted as roads will be closed. Vehicles will then be asked to leave. Those arriving on coach will be asked to make their way up Oxford Road from the coach drop off point. 

The nearest train station is Manchester Oxford Road which is fully accessible.

We are asking those wishing to use this viewing area to form up from 12 Noon onwards. There will be music up until 1pm, when the first set of speakers will take to the stage. The march will then move off at 1:30pm, but speeches will continue from other speakers from unions whilst marchers continue to pass the stage. The rally will take place with the march formed up in order. 

The rally is expected to last a couple of hours, at which point Oxford Road will have cleared of the last marchers. 

For those who wish to join the march, or join their union block on the march, stewards will assist with moving people into the march. Please indicate to a Senior Steward (Pink Vest) on the day if you wish to utilise this option so that we can plan accordingly. The distance from here to the finish is 1.5 miles and it will take approximately 2 hours to complete, depending on size of the march. There will be exit allowed from the march at any point. 

Rally on Oxford Road then move to the Short March access point

For those who wish to join the short march, we will be providing accessible transport. This will leave at 1:30pm. There will be no later journeys due to road closures. If you wish to utilise this option, please indicate in advance by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the Subject Line ‘Accessible Transport’. Please provide your name, number of passengers, and any accessibility requirements.

Short march access point

The short march assembly point is on Brazenose Street, opposite Albert Square. From here the march distance to the end is 0.5 miles. This is the last stretch and passes the Conservative Party Conference at it’s closest point. We cannot estimate a time as this is where the march will be at it’s most congested.

Those who assemble here will be assisted by stewards to enter the march after the front blocks have passed. Due to road closures, access to this area is limited. The best way for those in vehicles is to drop off on Deansgate, near to the junction of John Dalton Street, and make your way to the assembly point. Deansgate will close to traffic at 1:30pm, so we ask those requiring drop off to assemble before this time. The march is anticipated to reach this location at 2:45pm. We ask those wishing to access the march here to assemble no later than 2:15pm.

The march will then finish at the junction of Liverpool Road and Deansgate.

The nearest train stations are Deansgate and Victoria, which are both accessible.

General Information

On the march 

There will be first aiders available and a first aid vehicle will follow the march. If anyone requires assistance, in the first instance contact a steward in a high viz vest, or if not available, a police officer. 

No other vehicles will be allowed to join the march. 

Stewards, particularly those at the viewing area and short march access point, will be briefed on disability issues.